Arlington Park reported the $14,519,027 wagered on the track's 12-race Arlington Million card Saturday is the highest in ttrack history and for any track in the state of Illinois on Illinois races. Saturday's betting exceeds the previous handle record of $13,200,575, set July 13, 1996 when Cigar ran in the Arlington Citation Challenge.
"Our record handle of over $14.5 million in Illinois on Illinois races Saturday was a great day for Arlington Park, and both Illinois and international racing," said Arlington Park Executive Vice President Steve Sexton. "Despite the inclement weather, over $3 million was bet on track, demonstrating the excellent quality of the race card. The fact that a German horse, who has now won three group 1 races on three different continents in the same year, won the Arlington Million is evidence that international competition is the wave of the future.
This year's on-track handle of $3,007,998 on Million Day surpassed last year's total of $2,963,772.
Sexton attributed inclement weather early in the day as a possible factor for a downturn in attendance, with 22,176 patrons going through the turnstiles Saturday, compared with 26,664 on the same day one year ago.
"Even though we sold out all of the seats in the building, the early inclement weather hurt our walk up sales and was probably most responsible for our attendance numbers being down," said Sexton.